Canada Parks Canada evacuates Waterton support staff as wildfire advances

16:46  11 september  2017
16:46  11 september  2017 Source:   Calgary Herald

Waterton Lakes backcountry closed due to nearby wildfire

  Waterton Lakes backcountry closed due to nearby wildfire A nearby wildfire and an extreme fire hazard have forced Parks Canada to shut down all backcountry use in Waterton Lakes National Park until further notice. The townsite remains open, but all off-trial hiking, scrambling and climbing in the park is prohibited. Crandell campground and all backcountry campgrounds are closed, as is the Red Rock Parkway.Visitors can still access the Cameron Lake day-use area, but any use of the lake is prohibited.

Wildfire threatens Waterton Lakes National Park , forcing closure of backcountry. "Visitors and residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation ; however Madsen said Parks Canada is planning to establish a reception centre for summer staff that might not have

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Parks Canada , Nicholas Alexander. WATERTON , Alta. – A popular national park in the southwestern corner of Alberta was under a mandatory evacuation order Friday because a forecasted shift in wind was expected to heighten the wildfire danger.

WATERTON — Parks Canada support staff are being ordered out as wildfire incursion into Waterton Lakes National Park becomes an almost certainty.

This troubling news comes Sunday night as crews battled all weekend to prevent the now 9,400-hectare wildfire from crossing the continental divide into Alberta. 

A statement issued by Parks Canada says officials expect the fire’s intense growth on Sunday to continue into the night.

“There is a high probability the wildfire will reach the B.C. and Alberta border tonight and enter Waterton Lakes National Park near Cameron Lake,” it reads. 

Reports early Sunday evening suggests the fire’s edge had spread past Mount Rowe, which stands right at the edge of the Akamina Pass just north of Cameron Lake. 

Waterton Lakes National Park ordered to evacuate as wildfire approaches

  Waterton Lakes National Park ordered to evacuate as wildfire approaches Waterton Lakes National Park ordered to evacuate as wildfire approachesResidents and visitors must leave the area immediately, officials said as the evacuation order was issued Friday afternoon.

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blog 'lawrencegthang.blogdetik.com' is not exists. Rv Park & Campground Directory, 1991: Eastern U.S., Eastern Canada

Much of the firefighting effort had been focused on protecting the pass — a low and narrow valley that leads straight into the Waterton townsite.

It’s been 10 days since a lightning strike in B.C.’s remote Flathead Valley sparked the wildfire. 

Much of the fire’s growth has been southward — nearly 1,000 hectares over five kilometres in the past 24 hours, Parks Canada spokesman John Stoesser told media Sunday afternoon.

Tackling the fire has become a unified effort between Parks Canada and Alberta Wildfire.

Crews in the park have been working on halting the fire’s eastern movement at the Sage and South Kootenay passes, while provincial teams have been attacking the blaze from the north.

So far, much of the suppression and monitoring work has had to take place by helicopter, owing to the rugged and mountainous terrain.

Alberta town empty except for firefighters

  Alberta town empty except for firefighters WATERTON, Alta. - A town in an Alberta national park that would normally still be teeming with late summer visitors is now empty except for emergency workers who are preparing to save its buildings from a wildfire. "The only people left in town are for firefighting purposes," RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said Saturday from the Waterton townsite, a day after Parks Canada ordered the evacuation of Waterton Lakes National Park. "The only people left in town are for firefighting purposes," RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said Saturday from the Waterton townsite, a day after Parks Canada ordered the evacuation of Waterton Lakes National Park.

WATERTON — Parks Canada support staff are being ordered out as wildfire incursion into Waterton Lakes National Park becomes an almost certainty. This troubling news comes Sunday night as crews battled all weekend to prevent the now 9

WATCH ABOVE: With spot fires showing up in Waterton Lakes National Park as an out-of-control wildfire continues to grow along the park 's border with B.C., Parks Canada called for a voluntary evacuation of the park Tuesday night.

With access and mobility limited, firefighters have had to rely on buckets of water dropped by helicopters. 

As helicopters are unable to operate over the fire at night, firefighting efforts have been confined to daylight hours only.

Crews are also prepared to use aerial ignition techniques to control the fire’s movement — essentially igniting controlled burns from helicopters hovering above in order to remove forest fuel on the ground below.

Thick columns of smoke blowing over the fire’s edge proved troublesome again Sunday as crews struggled to keep track of a number of spot fires triggered by blowing embers in the Tamarack Basin.

As for finally putting this fire out, Stoesser said that won’t happen without a little help. 

“This fire will continue to burn unless we see a significant change in weather,” he said.

The seemingly endless spate of hot and dry weather is expected to come to an end on Tuesday as a cold front moves into the area. 

Wildfire has Waterton residents on edge

  Wildfire has Waterton residents on edge WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK, Alta. - Mandy Mulcahy and her fiance Dave Formosa were watching nervously for news as a wildfire spread closer to the Waterton Lakes National Park townsite in southwestern Alberta. The pair work at Vimy's Lounge and Grill — she as a server, he as a sous chef — and have been living in a staff apartment in the small community with their three children since the spring. The pair work at Vimy's Lounge and Grill — she as a server, he as a sous chef — and have been living in a staff apartment in the small community with their three children since the spring.

Parks Canada told people earlier in the week they should be ready to leave on short notice as the fire burned mostly in British Columbia on Waterton 's western boundary. But on Friday the flames covering almost 80 square kilometres advanced into the park . Matthew Anderson, a wildfire information

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While that should deliver rain and maybe even a little snow to higher elevations, it’s also expected to bring with it high winds — not to mention the possibility of thunderstorms. 

“Winds do influence fire behaviour, the intensity of the fire and the direction it can travel,” he said.

“It also hampers our efforts in terms of helicopters flying — it has to be safe for the helicopters to fly, if it gets too busy we will shut them down.”

That was the case on Saturday, when strong winds and smoke grounded air crews. 

Meanwhile, municipal firefighters from six southern Alberta communities completed their efforts in fire-hardening the townsite on Sunday, erecting a complex network of high-power pumps, hoses and sprinklers to protect both property and buildings.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com

 

'It's gone, everything's ash': Alipine Stables destroyed by Waterton fire .
'It's gone, everything's ash': Alipine Stables destroyed by Waterton fireIt’s the only place that Jenika Watson has ever thought of as home, and now officials have confirmed that Alpine Stables were destroyed this week when the Kenow Fire tore through parts of Waterton Lakes National Park.

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